New Zealand: The Beers!

My last (really) belated post … New Zealand Beers! haha. I know, I know … it’s been a couple of years since I was there, but I have some nice photos to spark my memory. I flew into Auckland as my beginning location … and promptly visited The Shakespeare.

Although it was an excellent start to a pretty good beer journey, the focus of this trip was biking, birding, hiking, and major sight seeing, so the beer was added in where it fit and when we were close to civilization … otherwise it was kind of like this — fast, furious, and out of focus! lol

Not a lot of opportunities on the North Island — we were only there for a week — mostly around the National Park at Tongariro … but the South Island … wow. Of course, the first week (or so) on the South Island was a lot of small planes, boating, hiking, and birding.

By the time we made it to Wanaka, we had a chance to catch our breath and enjoy a good beer. Fortunately, this place had several options — we went with Speight’s Ale House — great patio with a view over the lake and an excellent selection of beers!

The IPA, made with New Zealand hops, was very satisfying. I was able to purchase a few more beers to enjoy during our stay and transition travels to Hokitika.

When we left Wanaka, we cruised across the lower Southern Alps and ended up on the West Coast … we staged out of the town of Hokitika — great place! We saw a couple of glaciers, put in some miles on the West Coast Wilderness Trail … and toured a brewery!

Monteith’s is a brewery in Greymouth … the original craft brewery (I think) in New Zealand — now owned by the Heineken Group. The tour was fun and informative and the beers were pretty good — worth a stop when in Greymouth … refreshing!

As we continued our trip back over the Southern Alps, I was able to sample a variety of other beverages when we arrived in Hanmer Springs.

We enjoyed these different brews around the interior of the South Island … as we made our way back to Christchurch to start our Alps to Ocean bike tour, we stopped at a small brewery near Geraldine — Valley Brewing Company.

They had some pretty tasty beers and excellent food … talk about your out of the way spot!

Finally, during our Alps to Ocean six day bike ride, I had a chance to sample a variety of beers (again) …

Our final stop was in Oamaru … at Scott’s Brewing Company. The location was beautiful — the beers were good … they matched their beers with their pizzas. Very nice patio.

Stating the obvious — the location made many of the beers special … and not necessarily the other way around! There were four or five outstanding beers … the rest were good to very good — but I wouldn’t complain. Solid beer trip!

Beer Mentor …